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1989 Gibson L-4CES

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Serial #: 80039531, Master Model labels, signed Jim Hutchins, January 11th, 1989

Body size at lower bout: 16". Scale length: 24 3/4" Nut Width: 1 11/16"

Materials: Solid carved Sitka spruce top; solid figured mahogany back, sides and neck; solid ebony fingerboard; dual-parallelogram mother of pearl fingerboard inlay and thistle peghead inlay; triple bound top, bound back and fingerboard.

Hardware: All gold hardware, including L-5 style deco tailpiece; Grover Rotomatic tuners; compensated tuneamatic bridge with inlaid feet; Gibson '57 Classic humbucking pickups; 5-ply bound tortoise pickguard; gold bell knobs.

Notes: Introduced in 1911 as an oval hole archtop, the L-4 is the oldest model name in the Gibson catalog. Redesigned with f-holes in 1935, the comfy 16" body has always been popular with players reluctant to wrestle with a huge guitar, and its fast 24 3/4" scale rewards the hand with effortless stretch chords and lightning arpeggios.

While a few examples were built by special order in 1958 only, and reissued in 1969 in a batch of just 9 instruments, the L-4CES did not become a regular offering in the Gibson catalog until 1986. This model incorporates design features from a number of Gibson's most distinguished guitars: like the L-5CES, the L-4 is crafted with a solid carved Sitka spruce top, and fitted with the ornate art deco tailpiece, bound tortoise guard and pearl inlaid bridge. The 16" Florentine cutaway body shares the same dimensions as the ever-popular ES-175, as well as the inlay pattern, which is found on the L-7, L-12, ES-350, Super 300 and other classic models.

This example has a solid figured mahogany body and neck, which produces an instrument that is somewhat lighter in weight, and very well balanced in the lap or on the shoulder. The neck profile is a gentle medium C, and the '57 Classic humbuckers are fat and sweet. The contoured body is warmly resonant, and nicely resistant to feedback. Apart from a bit of veneer checking on the back, the guitar is otherwise without pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear, and bears a hand signed Master Model label, inscribed by then Custom Shop foreman Jim Hutchins. This handsome guitar is a versatile instrument in a distinguished lineage that spans almost a century of gorgeous, hard-working guitars.

Setup: This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel roundwound strings (.012-.054). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 5/64" to 6/64" at the 12th fret, with moderate relief for acoustic playing with medium strings. The action may be lowered or raised to your requirements with the adjustable bridge.

Case: Original Gibson logo arched deluxe hardshell case with plush lining.





























































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